Vegan Chocolate Crinkle Cookies (Gluten-Free)

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These Vegan Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are quick and easy to prepare, using ingredients that you probably already have on hand in your pantry. I love how you don’t need flour or eggs to make them, so they are naturally gluten-free and Paleo-friendly.

chocolate crinkle cookies stacked on pan

How to Make Gluten-Free Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

I use gluten-free flour every now and then, but in most cases I prefer to use almond butter as a “flour replacement.” It adds a natural source of fat and fiber, without any weird, starchy after-taste. In this case, you don’t need any added oil, either!

flax egg and almond butter in bowl

To make these chocolate crinkle cookies, you’ll simply stir together the ingredients (only one bowl needed!) until a thick dough is created. Roll them in sugar, if desired, then bake!

chocolate crinkle cookie batter in a bowl

They will be fragile when you first take them out of the oven, but like most almond butter cookies, they will firm up as they cool.

Powdered Sugar Alternatives

To get the classic “crinkle effect,” this type of cookie is typically rolled in powdered sugar. If you plan on serving these cookies to holiday guests, do that! The overall cookie is still lower in sugar than a traditional recipe. (In these photos, I used organic powdered sugar

powdered sugar and coconut sugar balls

If you’d prefer NOT to use powdered sugar in this recipe, I tested out a few different options, and I want to report on my results:

  • Powered Coconut Sugar. You can pulse coconut sugar in a blender to make “powdered” coconut sugar, and then roll the cookies in that. The result is delicious, but be warned– the coconut sugar is not visible after these are baked, so the cookie looks like a plain chocolate cookie.
  • Arrowroot Starch. I’ve had success rolling my Pecan Snowballs and Puppy Chow in arrowroot or tapioca starch for a powdered sugar look, without the powdered sugar. However, when you try that with this recipe, the arrowroot dissolves as the cookies bake, leaving you with mostly a plain chocolate cookie again.
  • Ground Coconut. This brilliant idea comes from Feasting on Fruit. She rolls her crinkle cookie recipe in ground coconut, and the look is pretty impressive! However, this won’t work for people who don’t love the flavor of coconut.

Ultimately, the most authentic look will come from using real powdered sugar, but the choice is up to you! These cookies are delicious, even if you leave them plain. You could also top them with a few cacao nibs or roll them in ground nuts, like walnuts or pecans, for a different look.

rolling the cookie dough in powdered sugar

These cookies will naturally spread, creating the “crinkled” look on top. Let them cool completely before serving, because they are fragile while they are still hot from the oven.

before and after of the cookies on a pan

If you don’t need a vegan cookie, you can replace the ground flax seed and water with 1 chicken egg instead. The results should be similar!

These cookies will be the most sturdy if you store them in the fridge or freezer, but they can also be served at room temperature.

stack of chocolate cookies on a pan with milk

chocolate crinkle cookies on a pan
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4.95 from 17 votes

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies (Gluten-Free & Vegan)

This Chocolate Crinkle Cookies are a quick and easy recipe, without flour! They are rich and chewy, with a brownie-like flavor.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword chocolate crinkle cookies
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 15 cookies
Calories 110kcal



  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, stir together the ground flax seeds and water.
  • To the "flax egg", add in the almond butter, coconut sugar, cacao powder, baking soda, vanilla, salt, and vinegar, and stir well until a thick batter is formed. As soon as it looks mixed, stop stirring, so that the batter doesn't get oily.
  • Use a tablespoon to scoop the dough, then roll the ball between your hands. Dip the ball into powdered sugar or ground coconut, if you want the classic white-crackled look on the outside of your cookies.
  • Arrange the cookies on the prepared baking sheet at least 2 inches apart from each other. They will spread as they cook. Bake for 10 minutes at 350º, or until the tops of the cookies start to crack.
  • These cookies need to cool completely on the pan in order to firm up. Store them uncovered at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.



*If you don't need a vegan cookie, you can most likely swap the ground flax or chia seeds for a real egg. In this case you won't need the 3 tablespoons of water or the added vinegar, either. (The vinegar is simply there to react with the baking soda to help the cookies rise, but eggs will do that anyway.)
*To ensure your cookies are vegan, make sure you buy organic powdered sugar. Organic sugar can't be filtered through bone char, like some sugars can be.


Calories: 110kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 7g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 93mg | Potassium: 126mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 1mg

Recipe Notes:

  • I have only tested this recipe with creamy raw almond butter, but I imagine that you could use sunflower seed butter, cashew butter, or peanut butter with similar results. Whatever you use will change the flavor slightly, so be sure to taste the batter as you go.
  • Using a granulated sugar is important for the texture in this recipe, so brown sugar would be the most similar substitute. For other sweetener ideas, try my date-sweetened chocolate cookies or my Paleo Chocolate Cookies, which are sweetened with honey.

If you try this recipe, please leave a comment below letting me know how you like it. And if you make any modifications, please let me know how they worked for you! We can all benefit from your experience.

Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite type of cookie?

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OMG, these are amazing. I used powdered sugar for rolling, because I wanted to fool my kids, and this totally did the trick! This will be my new crinkle cookie recipe from now on.


Great recipe. I switch between nut butters, use a real egg, monk fruit fiber sweetener and roll them in coconut flakes. Even without all the sugar they still taste amazing

Dale Sawan

Very fudgy! Thanks for the great recipes!

Ruby McCune

I made this today. It’s so good! My kids loved it!


My whole family loved these! We’ve made them multiple times, so easy and so delicious!


How many eggs do you use to substitute for the flax, vinegar and water? Thank you!

    Megan Gilmore

    My guess is that 1 egg would work as a replacement, but I’d love to hear if you try it!

      Celeste T.

      I used 1 egg and it worked out fine. I substituted turbinado for the coconut sugar and I got a very grainy/gritty texture. Not sure if I should have used less that 3/4 cup? That seemed like a lot to me when I was pouring it in. I love how simple this recipe is, but mine turned out way too gritty for me to enjoy them. What are your thoughts Megan? I’d love to try it out again.

Courtney S

Yumm these rock!! All your recipes are my favorite, thank you:)


So happy to find a recipe that works for me! Sugar cookies are delicious.


Chocolate crinkle cookies are one of my fave cookies ever, and I’m so grateful you made a recipe of a healthier version of them! I’ve made these twice already—they are so, so good! Used a flax egg the first time and a chia egg the second time. I found it tasted better with a chia egg!


Is the “vinegar” meant to be white or ACV? Most egg subs call for ACV, but this doesn’t specify so I wanted to confirm. Making these for Christmas teacher gifts and can’t wait!

    Megan Gilmore

    I usually use apple cider vinegar for this, but I’ve even used red wine or balsamic vinegar in a pinch, and you can’t taste it either way. Hope they’re a hit with the teachers!!


      These were fantastic! Chewy, chocolatey, but not overly sweet like so many other goodies this time of year. Just perfect. Thank you.


Everyone in my family loves these cookies. I crush candy canes on half the batch for the holiday and they are so tasty!! I never have ground chia or peppermint extract (for your peppermint cookie recipe) so I use this recipe and it’s just delicious.


These cookies are INCREDIBLE! I used an egg and peanut butter because it’s all I had on hand, but they were fabulous and enjoyed by all- thank you !


These are SO GOOD!!!!!!!! I’ve made them 3 times and they don’t make it to the neighbors before we have eaten them all! So good and they don’t taste “healthy” at all!

Jess Carvey

I hate almond butter so I used peanut butter and they turned out great! They taste just like no bakes but without the oats! Making these again! They didn’t even get to cool all the way before my husband dove in! SO EASY to pull together!


My first time baking chocolate crinkle cookies (and first time making my own almond butter). Both of these recipes were fabulous. Wish I had powdered sugar, but the cookies are so delicious as-is that it doesn’t matter. Highly recommend!


Super duper awesome! I made these and also the chocolate peppermint ones since they use very similar ingredients and I wanted to compare them. Both are equally amazing, but these are prettier with the powdered sugar on top!


I was hankering for a quick and easy dessert with ingredients I had in the house and this fit the bill! I used a little less than 1/2 cup brown sugar instead of the coconut sugar (since that’s all I had on hand) and didn’t roll them in powdered sugar for their classic “crinkle” look. Still amazing despite that, especially with a glass of cold almond coconut milk! Another delicious recipe from Megan! 🙂


Thanks for this recipe! I’m gluten intolerant so was looking to make a chocolate or choc/chip cookie when I came across this recipe. They were so easy to make, and took no time at all. I made a few modifications as I am not vegan: used an egg (instead of ground flax, water, vinegar); replaced almond butter with peanut butter; replaced coconut sugar with dark brown sugar. The cookies turned out delicious!!
I let them fully cool in the pan as suggested, because they were indeed soft at first.
Soft and yummy…like a Reese peanut butter cup in a cookie!
Thank you!! I will definitely be making these again.

    Katherine McPherson

    I find that my cookies aren’t spreading? What do you think that could be?


These are incredible (even with using peanutbutter), will make again, thank you!

Monica Suberville

Hello! I love these cookies. I’ve made them 4 times except the last time they stuck to my hands and ended up being a brownie… how can I make them less sticky I’m having some trouble with that?

Tomena Reed

These are a go to family fav and my house and all my sister’s houses!


I made these exactly per the recipe, and they were fabulous! Thank you.


hey! Could u substitute apple cider vinegar instead of regular vinegar?


These are outstanding! We are not vegan, but my teenager shared the recipe with me and wanted to try them. We’ve made them a few times now to rave reviews. I don’t keep coconut sugar around and just used granulated white sugar. Love that it’s naturally gluten free to boot making the recipe good for all sorts of purposes in one shot.

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